Alycia Hill is a professional triathlete. Alycia's father was a triathlete and she loved to go out and cheer for him, but eventually that wasn't enough and Alycia decided to join him in the triathlon world. Outside of Alycia's athletic pursuits she is also a nurse practitioner working at the University of Utah.
When you are traveling and away from home for extended periods of time (for competition, training, etc) what meal do you crave the most?
I have to say, and this is going to sound a little silly, but I have to say eggs, spinach and cheese mixed together because you can’t really make that if you’re traveling unless you’re in a home. I call it cheesy eggs and I eat it for dinner sometimes with some extra vegetables. So, basically like an egg scramble. It’s kind of tricky when you’re away from home in and in a hotel, you obviously can’t cook that.
If you could have any three people (dead or alive) over for dinner who would they be? Why?
My husband, my mom and my dad. But then my brother and sister are left out I guess, and my in-laws. That’s a hard one!
How do you relax? Do you have any favourite hobbies that help you winddown?
Yeah, actually I have a glass of wine and bake. You have your wine and then you have your sweet treat afterwards.
How have things changed for you and your training during this pandemic?
That’s an interesting question, I think you’re going to get a variety of answers from a lot of people with that. The big thing for me actually was I ended up trail running a lot more. The reason being is that you can go outside and be relatively by yourself and create a lot of space for yourself that way. I think I’ve been blessed during this time to have a partner that really enjoys being outside and somewhere that there’s not a lot of people, and so he kind of showed me the ropes on that and I think that’s been a big thing that’s changed throughout this period. But a lot of it was like laying down some really nice base miles and bigger volume because when you get out and away from everything you have this huge space to work with. I think that was the biggest thing for me and I work in healthcare so I didn’t race much this year really. So, being outside, big open space, bigger volume I would say is the big thing that changed for me.
Has the pandemic impacted how you can prepare for your sport? Will/Is your competition/race/etc schedule being impacted?
The race opportunities were few and far between based on how the year unfolded and in terms of the position that I have, I don’t have the ability to jet off within a week’s notice to go race. So, it has to be planned. There were a couple races here and there that came up that were opportunities to race professionally in triathlon but it wasn’t available to me based on what I do opportunities to race professionally in triathlon, but it wasn’t available to me based on what I do outside of racing professional triathlon. I did a couple of trail races, I raced at U.S. Marathon Trail Champs and a trail race just down in Southern Utah. But I think also the other thing that I kept in mind as well was kind of balancing where the world is at and what I do outside of racing.
What do you love most about Rudy Project?
Their glasses are form fitting, they don’t fall off your face, and stylish all at the same time. Especially for females I would say, who usually have a smaller face frame, I always had a hard time with glasses falling off and sliding down and I don’t have that issue with Rudy Project. That’s how I started working with them a few years back. The helmets are comfortable too.
What is your favorite product? Why?
Their new Cutline glasses, for both running or riding. They’re good coverage, they don’t slide and they also don’t fog up. I like the frame set in terms of how it sits on my face and the coverage that it has. That would be my favorite product right now.
What do you expect from a brand that you work with?
I think comradery in sport is a big one, and I mean we’re talking about sport specific brands, right? So, comradery in sport and support in the goals that I am going after. With good, wholesome people you create these relationships where they know about your personal life and they support you in your goals and sport, but I guess I would say also outside of sport. So, you create this relationship with good and wholesome people that you wouldn’t have met otherwise.
How long have you been working with Rudy Project? How did that relationship start?
I think between four to five years. I was wearing their product already and then it was through a mutual friend that I got connected with who already worked with Rudy Project, and they connected me with the local rep for West Coast.
What is the best advice you can give to younger athletes or aspiring athletes?
Take your time and listen to your body. And that can be interpreted in a few different ways, whether that’s in relation to how early you get into a single sport specific avenue, or it could be related to injury, or it could be related to life balance in regards to sport… But those would be the few words that I would say and then leave that open for them and how they to interpret it, but that’s what I would start with for younger athletes for sure.
Do you have any tips for finding motivation to push through tough days?
Yeah, think about the really good days because not all days are easy, whether it’s in training or racing, not all days are good, not all days feel good. But think about the good days and then find meditation in where you’re at on any given day because that’s where you are, and you can’t change it, you can’t fix it, that’s just where you are. So, focusing on that piece and focusing on the enjoyment of where you’re at is what I would say.
Have you learned any travelling tips or tricks through your experiences?
Always pack your bike well and always carry on the airplane your bag that has everything you personally need to race. So, your bike shoes, your helmet, your wetsuit, your nutrition, all of that stuff should be in your carry-on bag because if you show up and you can’t purchase it, and your bag doesn’t show up, you’re stuck.
How do you prepare for your event? Do you have any tips for handling the stress or performance anxiety?
In terms of preparing for an event take things day by day, it’s a huge process to prepare for any event and a lot of individuals race multiple events a year. The day in and day out work is how you go into it but in terms of how do you deal with stress or anxiety leading into a race, I would say focusing on what you’re there to do and why you’re there to do it. Because you’re there for the enjoyment to race, and you’re there to do the best you can. At least for me that’s why I show up, to push myself to the limit and see if I can push myself further or harder than I did last time. So, I would say for stress and anxiety leading into races just focusing on what you’re there to do and why you’re there to do it.
How do you cope with adversity in your sport? Whether it’s a bad day, bad weather, equipment failure, cancelled event, etc?
Yeah, you give yourself 24 hours to be sad and then it’s gone. Like you’ve got 24 hours you can cry, you can yell, you can scream, do whatever you want, but after 24 hours that’s it. It’s kind of a rule in our house.
What is your least favourite type of music?
Do you snore?
My husband says I do, but I don’t think I do.
What did you eat for breakfast?
Before training a banana, after training oatmeal.
What is your favourite movie?
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Coffee or tea?
Coffee for sure
What is your favourite season?
Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Would you go to a movie alone?
No, I would just watch it at home, not a big theatre person
Window or aisle seat?
Favourite ice cream flavour?
Vanilla, but old-fashioned vanilla
(ed. note: interview has been edited for length and clarity)